Hasbro Easy-Bake Oven to be marketed to girls AND boys in 2013 following petition for change by 13-year-old girl
Acting on behalf of her 4-year-old brother, New Jersey girl McKenna Pope, 13, petitioned the maker of the Easy-Bake Oven to make a version aimed at aspiring chefs of both sexes.
By Victoria Cavaliere / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
The Easy-Bake Oven, a toy marketed only to girls over its 50-year history, will go gender neutral starting in 2013.
McKenna Pope, 13, had petitioned manufacturer Hasbro for an Easy-Bake suitable for both aspiring boy and girl cooks, saying her 4-year-old brother Gavyn Boscio loves to bake but balks at playing with the “girl” toy.
Pope, of Garfield, N.J., met with the toymaker Monday at their headquarters in Rhode Island and was told that her little brother will get his wish starting in the fall of 2013.
A silver and black Easy-Bake Oven featuring both boys and girls in the marketing and packaging will be sold alongside the current purple version of the toy. Since 1963, a dozen different Easy-Bake models have been introduced in colors like teal, yellow, green and pink. Packaging and advertisements for the working oven, which originally baked tiny treats under an incandescent lightbulb, has only ever featured girls.
Hasbro says the gender neutral prototype, which it showed to Pope, has been in development for 18 months and will debut at the New York Toy Fair in February.
Pope said she was thrilled Hasbro paid attention to her Change.org petition that garnered an impressive 44,000 signatures and the support of celebrity chefs, including Bobby Flay and “Top Chef” star Manuel Trevino.
“I’m very excited. It’s validation that what I’ve done has made a difference,” Pope told the Daily News on Tuesday.
Brother Gavyn was with her during the tour of Hasbro and gave the prototype a boy’s stamp of approval. “He was ecstatic,” she said. “It was amazing to him.”
Hasbro said it wanted McKenna and her family to get a look at the new design because of the reach of her Change.org campaign.
“Consumers can look forward to it becoming available in fall of 2013,” the company said in a statement.